Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
As the chairman of the New York Post, I am ultimately responsible for what is printed in its pages. The buck stops with me," Murdoch begins.
"Last week, we made a mistake. We ran a cartoon that offended many people. Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted."
"Over the past couple of days, I have spoken to a number of people and I now better understand the hurt this cartoon has caused. At the same time, I have had conversations with Post editors about the situation and I can assure you -- without a doubt -- that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation. It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such.
We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community."
Yeah I bet he had a talk with the editors. I bet it was along the lines of: "WTF!? Do you know the demographics of the city?"
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The basis of the discussion is very much what I had in mind for the Olatunji Foundation, in terms of a point (the foundation) being the funnel through which various like minded individuals could pool resources and deal with issues of Pan-Africanism, without the usual structure of a UNIA, NAACP, etc. It's a good (and relatively old) video.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday’s Page Six cartoon — caricaturing Monday’s police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut — has created considerable controversy.
It shows two police officers standing over the chimp’s body: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” one officer says.
It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.
But it has been taken as something else — as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.
This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.
However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past — and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.
To them, no apology is due.
Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon — even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
Well let me make this final statement on the subject. Those of us in the NYC area know full well that the Post hates Rev. Al Sharpton. But lets be clear here: Rev. Al is simply voicing the opinions of a great deal of people not only in NY but across the country. The Post can continue to issue back handed apologies, but the fact is Rev. Al. has put them on economic notice. I've seen Rev. Al. Cartoons in the past in the post (through other means since I don't give The Post my money) and while most of them have been completely tasteless but clearly within the bounds of political parody, only a priviledge white man or woman, priviledged enough to claim some sort of ignorance of the history of comparing African-Americans to Monkeys and other animals, along with other "jungle" references. And only such a person would then claim to "not understand" the problem with making a clear reference to Obama. I say clear because even though it is clear that the stimulus bill is the product of a number of writers, the cartoon clearly makes a SINGULAR statement in regards to the author of said bill. Since the Monkey in reference was male (and so is the president) and supposedly the buck stops at the President and the Stimulus is referred to as the Obama stimulus, the reference is clear, Obama is the Monkey who "wrote" the bill.
White people do racist stuff all the time, most times without so much as a raised eyebrow in response (see Thatcher) With the election of Obama there are a great deal of black people who are coming to be far less tolerant of the bullshit and the NY Post is going to realize that NYC is mostly "minority" and that stuff is not going to fly if they wish to stay in business. Most of these "minorities" also have a favorable opinion of Rev. Al. so continuing to pick on him is also going to become an economic liability. I have never heard of stores in Harlem refusing to sell the Post before. And if they have, it's the first time they've made the news with it.
So take note, Post, News, Record, just like you're not going to publish a cartoon that shows Nazi SS shooting Einstein and complain about the national IQ, I suggest a bit of editorial discretion in reference to black folk.
And in terms of that apology: Rev. Al wasn't looking for a personal apology (not that Al. I know) So that whole line was unnecessary.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I would be remiss if I didn't
remind you and the rest of the committee that our role
here is to investigate Rod Blagojevich and not Roland
Relevant testimony from Burris:
REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Now, prior to the
4 Governor's arrest, did you have any conversations,
5 prior to his arrest did you have any conversations
6 with the Governor about your desire to be appointed to
7 the seat?
8 MR. BURRIS: No.
9 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Did you talk to any
10 members of the Governor's staff or anyone closely
11 related to the Governor, including family members or
12 any lobbyists connected with him, including let me
13 throw out some names, John Harris, Rob Blagojevich,
14 Doug Scofield, Bob Greenleaf, Lon Monk, John Wyma, did
15 you talk to anybody who was associated with the
16 Governor about your desire to seek the appointment
17 prior to the Governor's arrest?
18 MR. WRIGHT: Give us a moment.
19 MR. BURRIS: I talked to some friends about
20 my desire to be appointed, yes.
21 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I guess the point is
22 I was trying to ask, did you speak to anybody who was
23 on the Governor's staff prior to the Governor's arrest
24 or anybody, any of those individuals or anybody who is
1 closely related to the Governor?
2 MR. BURRIS: I recall having a meeting with
3 Lon Monk about my partner and I trying to get
4 continued business, and I did bring it up, it must
5 have been in September or maybe it was in July of '08
6 that, you know, you're close to the Governor, let him
7 know that I am certainly interested in the seat.
8 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. Did you speak
9 to any individuals who -- any individuals who were
10 also seeking the appointment of the United States
11 Senate seat, otherwise people we've referred to as
12 Senate candidates one through five?
13 MR. BURRIS: No, I did not.
14 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. At any time
15 were you directly or indirectly aware of a quid pro
16 quo with the Governor for the appointment of this
17 vacant Senate seat?
18 MR. BURRIS: No, sir.
19 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Okay. If you were
20 aware of a quit pro quo, what would you have done?
21 MR. WRIGHT: Madam Chairman, I think that
22 calls for a -- that's a hypothetical question that I
23 don't think that what he would have done, it could
24 have depended. I don't think that's an appropriate
2 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I disagree. I think
3 that it is highly relevant. You're speaking to the
4 committee, but you're also speaking to the state of
5 Illinois. I think it's important to know what his
6 response would have been if he was aware of a quid pro
7 quo with the Governor and also for the appointment.
8 CHAIRWOMAN CURRIE: Representative Fritchey.
9 REPRESENTATIVE FRITCHEY: Madam Chairman, if
10 I may, Mr. Burris had already stated that he was not
11 aware of any quid pro quo, which answers that question
12 and puts it to rest. What his response would have
13 been had there been something, which he stated did not
14 occur, is clearly irrelevant to this, and according to
15 Mr. Burris, to speculate on something that would have
16 happened if another situation had happened which he
17 clearly says has not.
18 Representative Durkin, I'm not trying to stifle
19 you whatsoever, and I understand the generalities
20 where you're trying to go. But again, I think that
21 we're outside the realm here of what's germane to this
23 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I think it's germane,
24 and I think in the conduct of this committee over the
1 past month that we've been given significant leeway to
2 try to find responses to individuals who are sworn in
3 before this committee, and I think that it's a
4 reasonable request to ask what would have been Mr.
5 Burris's response if he was aware of a quid pro quo
6 for the United States Senate seat.
7 REPRESENTATIVE FRITCHEY: But the leeway has
8 been with response to representatives on behalf of the
9 Governor and the Governor's administration, not with
10 respect to third parties who have clearly stated that
11 they've had no involvement with those actions.
12 MR. WRIGHT: Representative, Senator Burris
13 wants to be clear and open, so to the extent you're
14 asking him to speculate, he'll try to respond to that.
15 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: Thank you.
16 MR. BURRIS: Representative Durkin, knowing
17 my ethics, I would not participate in anybody's quid
18 pro quo. I've been in government for 20 years and
19 never participated in anybody's quid pro quo.
20 REPRESENTATIVE DURKIN: I guess the point is
21 would you have gone to the federal authorities if you
22 were aware of that?
23 MR. BURRIS: I have no response to that...
Can you say before this committee, sir,
21 emphatically that none of those things were promised
22 from you to the governor or there was no exchange in
23 regards to anything legal, personal or political?
24 MR. BURRIS: Representative Flowers, I can
1 before this committee state that there was nothing
2 legal or --
3 REPRESENTATIVE FLOWERS: The three points
4 were legal.
5 MR. BURRIS: Legal.
6 REPRESENTATIVE FLOWERS: Personal.
7 MR. BURRIS: Personal.
8 REPRESENTATIVE FLOWERS: Political.
9 MR. BURRIS: Or political, exchanged for my
10 appointment to this seat.
11 REPRESENTATIVE FLOWERS: There was no
12 conversation, none to that effect, and I know you
13 answered this on numerous of occasions, no quid pro
14 quo, none of that?
15 MR. BURRIS: Absolutely, positively not...
REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: So you don't recall
17 that there was anybody else besides Lon Monk that you
18 expressed that interest to at that point?
19 MR. BURRIS: No, I can't recall. Because
20 people were coming to me saying Roland, you should
21 pursue that appointment, you're qualified, and this
22 was --
23 REPRESENTATIVE TRACY: Is there anybody that
24 comes to mind in that light that you can --
1 MR. BURRIS: Yes, Rich Barber from Summerset,
2 New Jersey, the gentleman I introduced at my press
3 conference in Washington the other day, he contacted
4 me from Summerset, New Jersey, and said "Roland,
5 there's no one better qualified for you to be United
6 States Senator from the great state of Illinois. And
7 therefore, I'm going to start contacting --" you know,
8 I was just wait a minute, you know, Obama hasn't --
9 well, that happened after, maybe after November 4th.
10 See you're asking me a question that has so many
11 moving parts to it that I might not be -- and my
12 counsel reminded me that the class of 1955 from
13 Centralia, Illinois, also were contacting me. And of
14 course a lot of them, that got started after
15 President-elect Obama had been -- had won the
17 And so I'm -- and I can start giving you names if
18 you need names of people who you can follow up after
19 that, after November 4th I can certainly give you a
20 few names, but I can't give you the thousands of
21 people who were involved in this.
Now if you read the Feb 5 affidavit and compare it to his testimony you'll see that he was correct when he said:
I mentioned a conversation with Lon Monk but was then asked another question and did not mention anyone else.
Now the NY Times is misrepresenting Burris' testimony writing:
In a sworn affidavit he provided to a committee of the Illinois House in Springfield on Jan. 5, Mr. Burris said “there was not any contact” between himself or his representatives and those of Mr. Blagojevich before he was chosen. At the time, Mr. Burris was pressing to be seated in Washington by Senate leaders, who waited for testimony Mr. Burris provided to an Illinois House committee.
The transcript above clearly shows that Burris never said he had " no contact." in fact the testimony is two part: One asking contact with anyone in Blagojovich's camp about the appointment and a second question regarding whether he had contact with any of "the five." It was to the latter question to which he responded "No contact."
The Times continues:
He was asked by the committee whether he had talked with “any members of the governor’s staff or anyone closely related to the governor, including family members or any lobbyists connected with him,” including, by name, the governor’s brother, the governor’s chief of staff, former chief of staff and top advisers.
Mr. Burris answered, “I talked to some friends about my desire to be appointed, yes,” and then told of a conversation he had had months earlier with a former Blagojevich chief of staff about his interest in the Senate seat.
The operative part of the answer being "Yes." If Durbin, the committee questioner had been so interested in the specifics he could have done so, but did not return to that line of questioning (as a good lawyer would have) and instead moved on to questions about some $1.2 million donation.
So by reading the testimony and the transcript, there's no discrepancy in the testimony and the affidavit.
Now what is potentially a problem is the fund raiser. The problem here though is the fundraising request. The problem is that asking for a fundraiser is not illegal. Asking for a fundraiser in exchange for a Senate seat is illegal. My question is, if the prosecutor had Burris on tape agreeing to a QPQ then why didn't the prosecutor bring it up when Burris was announced? Wasn't his reason for pre-empting his own case to prevent such a thing from happening? It doesn't smell right to me.
In the end the tapes will reveal all, Reed, Rahm, Burris, Jackson and Blagojevich.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
When the use of the word "boy" was no longer the term of common reference for Black males by whites, Black males began referring to themselves as "baby." For until most recently, with the changes in dress and clothing styles, most black males deeply resented any reference to themselves as "girl" or "woman." But the recent style changes towards high-heeled shoes, curled hair, hair curlers, braids, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pocketbooks, midriff tops, cinch waisted pants, etc., that many Black males have adopted now suggest that there is a developing tendency, widespread amongst Black males, to not mind (consciously or unconsciously) being mistaken for a "girl" or a "woman."...
Thus it is clear that the origin of this specific pattern of speech begins with the perhaps unconscious recognition that within the framework of the white supremacy power system and it's reflecting culture, power rests only in the hands of whites, more specifically, in the hands of the white male. And relative to the white male, the Black male is a powerless "baby."
"In childhood male children learn- whether at home or at school- that they make mothers and female teachers happy (and they will shower you with smiles and affection) when they act like "females" rather than like boys...The braided and curled hair, the earrings and bracelets, the midriff tops, the cinch waisted pants, the flowered underwear, the high-heeled shoes with platforms and the pocketbooks are all behavioral answers to the above. They say in a loud and clear language, "White man, I will never come after you. I cannot run in my high-heels - you know that. And I may mess up my hair." The white-run clothing industry is all to pleased to provide the costumes of feminine disguise for black male escape.
The Isis Papers (1976,1974)
When I first saw the pictures of Kanye West and his crew; some of whom were wearing some outfits reminiscent of the 80's, Cameo, and of questionable taste, I laughed and moved along. Artists will be artists and I really wasn't going to waste brain cells on whether Kanye's particular choice of clothes and friends were indicative of his sexual proclivities. However; I saw a twit from a friend of mine to a blog post and a coincidental article in the NY Times fashion section which got my black man alarm going and immediately brought to mind the quotations above. Some pieces from the blog entry:
What's so funny to me about it , is that we dress like grown men. We are all approaching, or in our 30s, and we have style, money, and a vast knowledge of fashion. Has this hip-hop, street sh!t made everybody forget what a man REALLY is, or supposed to look like?
Grown men (and a woman?)
I'm not entirely clear as to what he means by "grown men." It seems they are dressed as they see fit but to declare that the above is how grown men dress is quite a stretch. Really. But see the undertones, well actually overtones of the comment? We're rich and we know more than you do about clothes, so everything we do is so beyond what you street niggas would know. You know that's really familiar to me, I've heard that said about black folks from not a few white people. You know, we poor country, jungle vine swingin' coons don't know or have nothin' that we rich and civilized white folk haven't done better at.
Lest you think I'm being too harsh in this critique, continue reading the blog post:
Every show that we walked into, the escorts wanted all of us to be in the front row because they honored the style that we brought and respected our presence. And the thing is, what we are actually doing, is showing the fashion world that American men, let alone Black Men, know how to really get busy when it comes to the fashion game.
Yep, that reminds me about that part where Dr. Welsing discusses how black men get rewarded for being non-threatening. Here's a nice translation: These white folk love us non-threatening negroes who spend the money our backwards street negroes provide us through album sales on high dollar, high thread count, name brand "couture" with names these ignorant negroes can't pronounce let alone wear first hand. They so approve of us aping their styles, that they put us on display for other white folk to see and talk about: "Oh those negroes dress so well!" Besides, what is with these rich negroes who apparently have a need to be validated by white folk? Seriously.
The blog continues:
>Everyone in the fashion world thinks that Black, American men can't dress because we wear everything baggy and boxy and our clothes just straight up don't fit right. It's the truth whether you like it or not. There are only 3, truly respected American men in fashion, and they are Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs. Kanye is on the path to being the 1st American Black Man that high-end fashion buyers will be wearing with his Louis Vuitton collaboration, following Pharrell's collaboration with the fashion house for the LV "Millionaire" sunglasses that he designed (sunglasses are accessories, not clothing).
Wow so rich, ethnocentric, largely gay, European fashion designers, who think rail thin women are "ideal" have deemed American black men as fashion abominations. Boo hoo! First of all why is someone I assume to be black even repeating racist bullshit like this in the first place? Seriously. Some cracker in "high fashion" makes a blanket statement about African-Americans and instead of calling them out on such a clearly racist comment, they post it on a blog as fact. Methinks someone clearly has spent way too much time around these people. But in case the blogger in question has forgotten, for those of us who don't have record contracts and fat bank accounts, we have to buy the vast majority of our clothes at retailers like Walmart and Target, where clothes are factory made to generic sizes. so if, like me you are tall with long arms, you have to buy clothes that are large in order to not look like you have a 3/4 sleeve shirt on. A great deal of your black record buying customers buy their kids large clothes so that the kids can grow into them and therefor spend less money on clothes so that they can do things like pay rent, eat, etc. You know those things we lowly, not rich and clearly less intelligent than you.
Of course many of us don't do baggy pants when we are grown. But still don't have the cash to drop on $5,000 custom suits. so forgive us if our suits don't drape as well as yours. Lastly though, in terms of baggy clothes, well you know where that stuff comes from: Jail culture that made it to the streets. In either case who are these people in "high fashion" to tell Black Americans what they ought to be wearing given their clear penchant for dressing black men like women?
Of course for those in on there history would know that the baggy clothes phenom. also had it's roots in the Afrocentric undercurrent of late 80's-early 90's Hip hop. You know those high top fades were taken from fellows in Ghana? YOu know those Hammer pants have roots in West African clothing? Seen a Batakare? Huge and baggy dude. And colors? the Cross-Colors designs that were the rage and that track, Chris Cross will make ya Jump! Jump" which was a direct rip of the Massai jumping dance. So once again, accepting the blanket statement by European so called "high fashion" about the lack of taste of black Americans, smacks of a total lack of the cultural influences of such styles. But then again, anyone with their heads so far up Europeans asses clearly would not have such respect for things African anyway.
So you'll have to excuse me when I don't bow down to people who think dressing men in women's clothing is "fashion." if a man has questionable sexual proclivities or wants to wear women's clothes 'cause it makes him feel better about himself, I could care less. When people start running around calling it "high fashion" I call the queer fool out.
Fact is that people in high end fashion are allowed to put clearly junk pieces out there and not have it called what it is simply because a lot of the industry is full of egos and back talking people who self congratulate. It's like when BMW redesigned the 7 series to look like a Buick. It stank. It got play for the simple reason that it was a BMW. Had it been a GM vehicle people would have called it what it was and it would have been a dead product like so many other GM cars.
So hey if these fellows want to dress in an eccentric manner. More power to them. For the record I think Kanye was the best and sensibly dressed out of the group. The rest, in my opinion dress to be seen. Their business though, but enough with the condescension and repetition of clearly racist and ethnocentric stereotypes, it's low...class.
The title underscores a tragic indifference in American society (if not elsewhere) that "Old ladies" (and perhaps ladies in general) deserve some sort of extraordinary sympathy that old men, or men in general do not. Why are old ladies locked up? For the same reasons old men are locked up. They did the crime, they are doing the time.
though there wasn't an explicit mention of the race of these old ladies, I can't help but think that the common visual conjured up by this title is of old white ladies, you know the type that helped President Obama get into the hearts of 45% of white folk in the US. Clearly there's little sympathy for relatively old black women like Assata, or relatively old black men like Mumia. For that matter I haven't seen an article attempting to raise sympathy for black political prisoners. But I suppose nothing quite pulls at heartstrings like "old ladies."
"She was a tiny old woman who just wanted to be released," said Killian.
Mumia is just a black political prisoner who just wants to be released.
Assata is just a black woman who'd like to go back to her home in NJ.
There are thousands of political prisoners who would just like to go home.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I posted the following at Internet Tablet Talk:
Originally Posted by benny1967 View Post
that's the whole point of these services: that people explicitly want to let their friends and family know where they are. sometimes.
Again I return to the idea that family and friends will be in a position to query as to why you have not shared your location. That is the expected norm will not be "I don't know and that's OK." Rather it will be "I don't know, therefore something is wrong." That is a huge fundamental change. I'm particularly concerned about this from a legal point of view as I'm currently reading a book concerning reasonable doubt and a jury's concept of privacy and guilt.
Anyway, if you read a recent report on ArsTechnica, you have a web company that had an advertiser put a box inline with their network that captured all customers net traffic for various reasons. The "Opt out" was buried in some fine text in the long "user agreement." and it was found that even those who opted out STILL had their traffic being logged by this third party.
So enough of the "explicit" junk.
Originally Posted by benny1967 View Post
really, i don't understand all the fuzz. and i am concerned about my privacy in general (which is one of the reasons why i avoid using google services whenever possible and why i'm still surprised how easily people hand over their mails, contacts, documents, calendars to this company)
The fuzz is about in the end the expectation of individual privacy. The US's NSA is on record as being very happy about people giving up this kind of information voluntarily because it lowers the legal expectation of privacy for them. This bothers me. The current trend is that once a large enough portion of the population volunteers to give up a certain level of privacy, then the government finds a means to then claim that the rest of us have given it up as well. This is specifically why the NSA got in it's head to use ATT, Verizon, etc.
The Fed is constrained by the 4th Amendment against warrantless searches of your private stuff. However no private company is under such a constraint. You then waive your privacy rights to internet company A, Internet company A then allows the government to access It's data, which was previously your private data, and you get a warrantless search. Now couple that with legislation "requiring" retention of logs and you have a whole lot of latitude for abuse.
But all you wanted to do is see an icon of your friend floating on a Google map.
Clearly I'm not going to be using the Google service.
Shortly after making that post I ran across the following on Ars Technica:
According to a slew of federal court rulings, police can use hidden tracking devices to monitor the public movements of a person or vehicle without bothering with a court order, since these devices don't violate any "reasonable expectation of privacy." But the sponsors of a bill making its way through the Georgia General Assembly think these GPS trackers do violate a privacy interest worth protecting—at least when they're used by private citizens.
I had completely forgotten about this police can track you if they like laws but it underscores my argument made on the other site that the lowered expectation of "reasonable" privacy is in fact endangered by widespread use of tracking devices which. Honestly could you imaging the founders approving of the state tracking a citizen without court order?
The bill "would make it a crime to "use an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of another person without such other person's consent," Really? But you know what I think got this ball rolling? When Rental car companies thought it was a good idea to use GPS on vehicles customers rented in order to see if they drove over the speed limit for purposes of billing them extra for speeding. Never mind that speed does not cause accidents but lack of control and attention does. These same rental car companies don't bill you extra for owning a cell phone, the use of which is as bad as driving drunk in terms of reaction time. But anyway, millions of people gladly exchanged "privacy" for access to a vehicle. Therefore it was not much for the state to argue that people do not reasonably expect to have their comings and going tracked, specifically for "safety" and "security."
What is particularly egregious about this legislation is that when we see that the executive has the "right" to declare anyone it sees fit as a "terrorist" and that such a label already allows for all manner of extra-judical detention (which it appears the Obama administration is OK with) Now the state can attach a device to your private property (you know that thing that the 4th Amendment says you are "secure in") in order to track the vehicle's movement (not necessarily the owner's) 24/7. And should the battery on that device die they can come back to your property, and trade out the tracking device.
I'm sure that the judges that approved of this, as well as the idiots that wrote it, thought, Oh if you're innocent you have nothing to hide. Rather than, this is someone's property, who is presumed innocent of whatever it is that the state wants to investigate and therefore the court ought to protect them and their property from state intrusion a la 4th amendment.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
...But running into Black people—this Godlike place where they’ve put President Obama is really incredible. The first two days I got accosted on the street like six times....Things like I’m embarrassing, stupid ho, you stupid bi*ch. A lot of cursing at me, especially from Black women. They’re attacking me for asking why—after 232 years of White presidents and White first ladies who have been dressed by White designers—when we finally get a Black first lady with seven to ten slots open in her fashion schedule, there’s not someone like Mr. Arthur McGee, a Black designer who was just honored at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
More stunted intellect commentary in the comments section.